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Guidance on Responding to Lithium-Ion Battery Fires in Mobility Devices

Posted: April 28, 2022

As e-bikes and electric scooters become more prevalent, so do fire risks.

When people store and charge their mobility devices inside their homes, garages or businesses, there is the potential for battery fires to lead to structure fires. Just one example is a recent apartment fire in New York City that resulted in injuries to 12 citizens and a Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) firefighter.

Motivated by the surge of fires started by batteries in mobility devices, the FDNY has created best practice tips for firefighters confronted by these fires, including:

E-bikes and e-scooters fires/emergencies.
This tip sheet provides tactical considerations for all aspects of response to these incidents, including personal protective equipment, hazardous materials response, safety procedures to protect from thermal runaway, and more.
Revel e-bike battery transport vans.
This tip sheet provides information on the vehicles that transport discharged lithium-ion batteries from rented mobility devices within the city. These vans contain as many as 60 batteries in a small, confined space, presenting significant hazards and extinguishment challenges.
Lithium-ion battery mobility device fires.
This tip sheet covers some of the same tactical considerations of the previous tip sheets, but also covers scene preservation prior to arrival of fire marshals and what to do after the fire has been knocked down.

The FDNY has also produced a safety video to educate the public on how to charge, store and use lithium-ion batteries safely.

This article is based on content in the
April 28, 2022 InfoGram.

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